Nearly 4,000 compete in Melissa's
A September sea of humanity flooding the streets of Banff unleashed a torrent of road racers for the always-popular Melissa’s Road Race on Saturday (Sept. 22).
More than 2,880 runners finished the 10-kilometre course while another 1,107 finished the 22-km route under sunny skies.
Graham Diehl of Calgary was the fastest runner on the day, finishing the 22 km course in 1:15:16, followed by Alex James (1:16:52) and Geoff Hopfner (1:18:35). Andrea Glover was the top female, finishing with a time of 1:24:57.
Sabrina Harper led the Bow Valley contingent, finishing 22 km in 1:36:20.
Andres Ambuehl was the fastest Bow Valley male on the day, finishing seventh in his age category (1:35:14). Ambuehl’s last jaunt was the Death Race in Grand Cache, where he finished the 125 km run solo, and said Melissa’s was a little different.
“It’s a classic race,” Ambuehl said. “It was incredible. This is not my distance, but to see everyone try to get through these 22 kilometres – they just wanted to succeed.”
After running up Grotto Mountain much of the summer, he said he found the Melissa’s course to be rather flat.
“There was one place where I got to use my strength,” Ambuehl said, describing the climb near Bow Falls. “There was great support on the race and the scenery was beautiful.”
The race was a training day for Ambuehl, who is on the hunt for bigger challenges.
Calgary’s Brad Bickley won the 10 km race (33:55), while Pauline McLean was the top female (38:37). Pierre Dube was Banff’s fastest 10 km runner, and Colleen Bredo beat the rest of the Bow Valley women (44:22). For full results, visit www.melissasroadrace.ca
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